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Thread: I want out, but I really need help. I'm desperate.

  1. #1

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    I want out, but I really need help. I'm desperate.

    Hi everyone.

    I'm 25, and I'm having some issues with my boyfriend. I'll try to make this as short as possible, but there are lots of details that I feel like are needed for you to get the whole picture. But I really do need help, as I want to get out of this relationship, and I don't know how.

    So, we met on Tinder about a year and a half ago. Honestly, I wasn't looking for a relationship, but he seemed to like me a lot, and we hit it off very well, so I figured I might give it a shot. Four weeks later, we have become a couple. After a while however, I felt like I saw a few red flags, such as his heavy mood swings and the tremendous pressure he put on me to come out as gay to my friends and family (although he was well aware that I'm from a strict Catholic background). So, two months into the relationship, I decided to break it off, as I figured we both deserved better - I couldn't give him what he wanted. Now, as I didn't want him to feel bad or guilty, I didn't point out what he did wrong; I just said I didn't feel what I should feel, that we simply weren't compatible as a couple, but that of course I wanted him in my life as a friend. He broke down completely, and it was just an awfully painful situation.

    I was hurt too, of course, by the break-up, and the second I left his house I regretted it deeply, but soon enough I felt free and happy, and I was sure I had made the right decision. Unfortunately, he begged to differ. He sent me long text messages, asked me to meet him a few days after the break-up, which I stupidly agreed to, and he asked me to give him another chance. I said I'd think about it, as I'm such a giant push-over. I felt bad for him, and I was so darn afraid of hurting his feelings, that I couldn't stand my ground. I came up with a thousand excuses for why we couldn't be together, and he had a solution to all of them. He kept nagging on me for the next few months. I tried to avoid him, saying I didn't have time to meet him, and he solved that by simply showing up at my doorstep and say he "had to talk to me about something" (which I thought was very disrespectful of him). Somehow I was sucked back in over the next few months, we hung out again and lived as if we were a couple, and at last he asked me if we could be together again. I said yes.

    Part of me is glad he did that, although I thought it was rude of him not to respect my wish, but here's where it gets problematic: those red flags are still there, more numerous and red than ever. He is extremely jealous, for instance. Months after we had broken up, he once saw someone write "it was nice talking to you, cutie" on my phone. I told him that I had never even met this person, we had just spoken on the phone once, and we hadn't really been flirty. Keep in mind that this was while we were still on a break (which was supposed to be permanent). Still, although he and I weren't together at the time, he considers it cheating to this day, and he has been threatening to out me to my parents and my friends if something similar ever happens again. He also keeps asking me to block friends that I'm not that close with, both guys and girls, who write to me on snapchat or other social media. He always asks "who's that" in a very suspicious manner every time I get a message, he has my phone password and he wants me to keep my snapchat map on at all times to he can monitor where I'm going.

    He's also very controlling. He has a certain dislike for some of my friends, although he's never met them, and it always turns into a huge argument whenever I go out to meet one of those friends. He also gets mad when I want to go visit my family every once in a while, who live 300 miles away, and whom I don't see very often. He wants me to text him literally 24/7, and he gets angry if I take too long to reply or if I don't reply with sufficiently long messages. Making one of those mistakes usually ends in him giving me an angry phone call.

    The way he gets angry isn't great either. He doesn't yell or scream at me. He usually just shuts down completely. He can be silent for over an hour, turning away from me and just refuse to talk to me at all. If he says anything, it's just one-syllable answers like yes, no, or the sound "mmm" which can mean basically anything lol. Often he gets angry without me even knowing what I did wrong, and he refuses to tell me what he's mad about. I usually need to nag, beg and ask for over an hour before he finally tells me what I did. This reaction can come from stuff I couldn't even imagine were offensive, such as how I once suggested I made two different dinners, as he wanted hamburgers while I wanted to stay healthy and eat chicken with salad. I offered to make both dishes, so that we could eat together, just different foods. He responded with the usual shut-down, and after an hour, he finally revealed that he got mad because I didn't want to eat hamburgers with him. You see, if I didn't eat them too, he would just feel fat and disgusting. So he couldn't eat those hamburgers if I didn't eat them too, and he really wanted a hamburger, so that's why he got mad.

    He also keeps pressuring me into sex. If I say that I'm too tired or something similar, he gets angry and on shut-down as described above. There have also been a few cases I would describe as rapey, such as how he can start doing things to me while I sleep, keep touching me although I remove his hand etc. Once he grabbed me from behind and started caressing my entire body quite roughly while I was sleeping. It woke me up, and I felt really scared. I don't know why, as he's physically weaker than me and not a threat in that sense, but I just froze and I felt terrified. After a minute or so I was able to break out of his grip, and walked straight out of the bedroom. A few minutes later he came into the kitchen and started crying, claiming he had no idea what he did, that he did it in his sleep.

    I could go on and on with stories like this, but I'm sure you guys get the picture: this is not a healthy relationship. I've been trying to talk to him about it, but nothing changes, and he is allergic to any form of criticism - he shuts down again, or counter with how horrible I am, if I try to talk to him about what he does wrong.

    I realize that I make him seem like the worst a**hole ever with this post. That's not the whole truth; he can be very sweet too. He can spontaneously buy me presents, and he's constantly telling me how I'm the best/most handsome/smartest guy in the entire world, how much he loves me and stuff like that. Over time, I have actually grown to love him deeply - I really do. The thought of not having him in my life anymore is terrifying, as I really do love him. When we're having good days, they're absolutely amazing. But unfortunately, I feel like the good days are fewer than the bad ones. I just can't deal with his mood swings and anger anymore. He has also started to push me harder than ever about coming out to everyone, and I just can't do it. And he keeps talking about our future wedding etc, although I've said I don't want to get married - he just doesn't respect my wishes at all. I want to break up again, and for good this time.

    The problem is that he has a very fragile mental health. I'm afraid he can end up hurting himself, or get vengeful and out me to my family and friends if I break up. The last time we broke up, he said he failed several tests in school and simply couldn't study because of what I did, and that he has never felt so down in his entire life. Trust me, he brings that up every chance he gets, to let me know how I've damaged him and that he'll probably end up in an asylum if we were to break up one more time. So I've decided to wait until he finishes college, as he only has one semester left, and I don't want to ruin that for him, but I don't know what will happen after that. What if - God forbid - ends up killing himself? Or, as I said I fear, that he tells my rather conservative parents and group of friends that I've been in a relationship with a guy, just to get back at me? The situation is completely locked, and this relationship feels more and more like a prison.

    Please give me some good advice, as I can't live like this anymore. I've never had issues with anxiety before, but these days, I tend to wake up with jaw pain because I've been grinning my teeth all night. I really, really need help getting out of this relationship.

  2. #2
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    You should have ended this long ago. Threatening to out you to your parents is outrageous!!!! The jealousy thing is also unjustified as you were broken up. There are many red flags with this this guy and you need to be done. You knew this after the first break, but allowed him to real you in.

    You bf is insecure, controlling manipulative and abusive. You are not a push over, but someone who lacks boundaries and allows people to manipulate and control. That bit is on you. You need to make some serious changes in this area.


    I cannot comprehend how you would think he could/would change. He has been like this from the start, and he will never change.

    You are not responsible for his mental health. I think that it is terrible that he holds this over you. You need to contact his family and they can deal with him.

    This is a sick relationship dynamic. You need to remove yourself and cut contact with this guy. I would also suggest that seek some help to understand why you have stayed.

    I would also recommend looking into co dependency. Check out coda.org.

  3. #3

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    Thank you for your honest reply. You are totally right of course - the whole lack of boundaries thing is entirely on me. I've never been good with that, as I hate getting into conflicts, and I hate to be the reason why people get sad. But I definitely should've been more "selfish" and put my own well-being first, as it was quite obvious that I couldn't have it both ways; one of us were going to suffer from this situation either way, so if not him, then me.

    I will try and approach his family about this, like you suggested. I have fairly good contact with his grandmother, whom he lives with, so she might be of help. I'm just not sure how to get out of this situation with my dignity intact, when I got this threat about being outed hanging over my head. But if he decides to make such a drastic move out of sheer pettiness, then so be it. It might actually be worth it to finally get out of this situation.

    I guess the reason why I've stayed is quite complex. It's out of fear for the consequences, and out of pity for him, but it's also because I actually do love him. Some would call it a case of the Stockholm syndrome, perhaps, but as aforementioned, he can be very kind too - it's not like he's bad all the time. It's just that this relationship has a lot more dark days than bright ones. But I'm definitely open to the idea of seeking help after I've been able to get away, to nest a little deeper into why thing turned out like this.

    Also, thank you for the coda recommendation. My bf keeps saying we're "co-dependent" in a joking manner, and I thought that basically just meant people who can't be away from each other for too long, thinking that he's definitely the co-dependent one lol. But reading on this page made me realize that there's a lot more to that term, and I certainly do recognize myself in a lot of the warning signs listed (especially the part about not being able to set healthy boundaries...).

  4. #4
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    You need to end this for your own wellbeing. This is extremely unhealthy and should end sooner, than later.

    To threaten to out you, is beyond sick and mean. For that reason alone, you should get out. Do not stay out of fear. Do you think that your family would cut you off?

    No one is bad all the time or people would not stay. He fits the profile of an abuser. This is what they do. He does not love you, he manipulates and controls you.

    Please end this, now! Good luck!

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  6. #5
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    What is emotional abuse?

    Examples of emotional abuse are:
    Controlling your partner’s time, space, money, thoughts, or choices such as what they wear
    Monitoring where your partner goes or what they spend money on
    Isolating your partner by not letting them see or talk to others
    Making all of the decisions without your partner’s input or consideration of their needs
    Accusing your partner of flirting, having an affair, or being unfaithful when there is little or no evidence they have done so. Read more about jealousy here.
    Getting angry or resentful when your partner is successful in a job or hobby
    Intimidating your partner by making them afraid, including breaking things, punching walls, slamming doors, or throwing objects
    Threatening to hurt your partner, their children, their pets, or damage their property, even if you don’t follow through on the threat
    Threatening to hurt yourself, especially when things are not going your way
    Threatening to leave or divorce your partner
    Demeaning your partner with frequent put-downs, name calling, blame, or humiliation
    Saying things that are designed to make your partner feel “crazy” or “stupid”
    Always being right, never apologizing
    Punishing your partner by refusing to talk to them or by withholding affection
    Withholding essential resources like food or money (also called economic abuse)
    Frequent mood swings, where one moment you are loving and affectionate, and the next moment you’re angry and threatening
    Frequently and quickly escalating into rage, where you just snap and lose it
    Blaming others for your behavior, especially your parents, partner, or children
    Blaming alcohol, drugs, stress, or other life events for your behavior
    Using sex, money, privileges, or other favors as a way to “make up” after conflict in order to stop feeling guilty
    Acting like your behavior is no big deal, denying the behavior, or telling your partner it’s their fault
    Using religious beliefs to justify holding a dominant, authoritarian position over your partner (also called spiritual abuse)
    Attempting to force your partner to keep quiet about your behavior or drop criminal charges
    You may be thinking, “So if I’m upset and don’t talk to my spouse for an afternoon, or I slip up and call him or her a name in the heat of an argument, that’s abuse?” While neither of these actions are ever good, they are not necessarily abuse. In reality, we all do some of these things sometimes. They become abusive when they are repeated frequently. Read more about dirty fighting styles in this blog.

  7. #6
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    I will try and approach his family about this, like you suggested. I have fairly good contact with his grandmother, whom he lives with, so she might be of help. I'm just not sure how to get out of this situation with my dignity intact, when I got this threat about being outed hanging over my head. But if he decides to make such a drastic move out of sheer pettiness, then so be it. It might actually be worth it to finally get out of this situati

    You know what - i wouldn't contact his family
    because you will turn yourself into a pretzel mentally figuring out how to say it and when.
    just leave. Block his number or change yours if he won't stop contacting you.
    In a lot of areas, there are hotlines to seek counseling for abuse -- they are usually attached to women's shelters and more geared towards women but i am sure if you called they could direct you to help as well.

    Also, if you stayed in part because you are afraid he would out you to your parents, why not give it a try? your parents probably suspect it anyways on some level. why not give them the benefit of the doubt before someone else tells them for you?

  8. #7
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    Let me clarify. Only contact the family if he threatens suicide.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Let me clarify. Only contact the family if he threatens suicide.
    That's what 911 is for

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    That's what 911 is for
    This, too. But, he could also contact the parents or grandmother if he threatens suicide.

  11. #10
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    This, too. But, he could also contact the parents or grandmother if he threatens suicide.
    I agree.

    His mental health is not your responsibility, OP. If he says he is going to hurt himself, contact emergency services and give his grandmother a heads-up.

    This relationship is utterly toxic and is affecting your emotional well-being too. It's high time to end it. Yes, he might out you to your family. You won't be able to control his actions, but you can control your response to it. Be prepared in case your family does indeed find out.

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